CHOOSING A SOLICITOR

Choosing a law firm? Why it’s smart to keep it local

There are many benefits to using a local solicitor rather than a remote or online service supplier. The most obvious one is that you are in the same area, which makes certain stages of the transaction – for instance producing identification documents at the start of your matter or signing documents when you are edging closer to that dream move – much easier to deal with. Having a solicitor ‘on your doorstep’ will make these sometimes tedious and time-consuming tasks easier to complete. Solicitors that practice in the local area may also have strong links or relationships with other property experts in the area, which can be invaluable throughout the conveyancing process.

But isn’t it cheaper to use an online conveyancing firm?
Not always. You have to be very careful when comparing quotations from solicitors that there aren’t any hidden extras. Solicitors fees that sound too good to be true generally are too good to be true.

Can’t we just deal with everything via telephone and email?
Legal documents such as contracts and transfers have to be signed by hand. In some cases, these documents need to be witnessed, and that is something your solicitor can do for you if he or she is local. By using a firm out of your local area the process of signing documents would have to be dealt with using the postal service. Many conveyancing transactions are time-pressured, so a quick visit to your solicitor to sign can help you achieve your desired completion date. Your solicitor must also verify your identity for every transaction, and check where your money is coming from if you are buying. This can be done online but verifying your identification this way carries additional costs.

Can I do my own conveyancing to save costs?
It is our strong advice that you should always instruct a suitably qualified conveyancer to conduct your sale or purchase. Conveyancers have trained for several years to become experts in the law and the conveyancing process. It is simply not worth the risk.

How can I tell which firm is right for me?
There are a number of key things to look for when deciding which firm to use. To name a few:
* Is the firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or other licenced body?
* Has the firm provided you with a clear indication of costs?
* Has the firm been awarded the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation from the Law Society?

For many, moving house can be a stressful and daunting prospect. It is therefore vitally important that you instruct a conveyancer you can trust to do the best job possible and to act in your best interests. Choose a firm that has a good reputation, is experienced and has qualified lawyers and, most important, a firm you feel comfortable dealing with. A firm like KWW Solicitors, perhaps.

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